Malawi Law Society wants Chaponda fired
MALAWI Law Society (MLS) has advised President Peter Mutharika to fire beleaguered Minister of Agriculture, George Chaponda, following findings by a Commission of Inquiry instituted by the president which has implicated Chaponda as being suspected of “inappropriate, suspicious and corrupt” dealings in the maize deal.
In a response to questionnaire MLS President, John Suzi Banda, observed that in well functioning democracies, when serious assertions of wrongdoing are made against a public officer, and in this case, a senior Cabinet minister and investigations of the magnitude witnessed in this matter are commenced, resignations tend to follow.
“It would be very surprising if the State President, a respected legal scholar, would find it okay to keep in his Cabinet a senior minister who may be under investigation for allegedly committing serious offences.
“It, surely, is his prerogative to hire or dismiss Ministers. But he too has obligations to the people of Malawi as clearly stated in our Constitution. He too has the duty to preserve the dignity of his Cabinet and send the right message,” he said.
The MLS President has also pointed out that Mutharika should follow through all the recommendations of the commission he instituted and at the very least, must refer the matter to the Anti-Corruption Bureau as per recommendations of the Inquiry.
“Let Malawians be the best judges; not the Malawi Law Society. They are the ultimate employers or masters of both the State President and Honourable Chaponda. All we can say is that if the recommendations of the Commission are not followed through, one would think that it was probably a farce, a sham and a waste of tax-payers’ money.
We sincerely do hope that it will not come to that as that would be very unfortunate and retrogressive,” Suzi-Banda said.
He has since emphasised that public officers must not wait to be dismissed but rather in their understanding of governance, resignation must be the only option when the circumstances so demand.
Meanwhile, MLS has also asked authorities to clear the mist on whether the establishment of the Commission of Inquiry on the procurement of maize from Zambia was not published in the gazette.
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